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Babies in prams 'exposed to more pollution'

16/08/2018

BBC article by Alex Therrien says:

Babies and young children in prams can be exposed to up to 60% more pollution than adults, a study suggests.

Baby sleeping in pram image

Experts said infants were exposed to dirtier air in prams because they were lower to the ground and closer to exhaust pipes.

They are also more at risk from the health dangers of dirty air because their bodies are small and developing.

The study's authors said avoiding busy roads and using pram covers were ways to reduce pollution exposure.

Researchers at the Global Centre for Clean Air Research, at the University of Surrey, carrying out a review of existing evidence, found that the breathing height of infants in prams was between 0.55m and 0.85m (2ft) above ground level.

Because pollution levels are greater within 1m of ground level, these infants are being exposed to up to 60% more fine particle air pollution than adults, the evidence indicates.

Roadside pollution contains high levels of toxic metals, which have the potential to impair brain development in infants, the researchers said.

Prof Prashant Kumar, one of the authors of the paper, said:

"When you also consider how vulnerable they are because of their tissues, immune systems, and brain development at this early stage of their life, it is extremely worrying that they are being exposed to these dangerous levels of pollution."

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